MARCS Monday Meeting (MMM) - Dr Niels Hansen & Dr John Cass

Event Name MARCS Monday Meeting (MMM) - Dr Niels Hansen & Dr John Cass
Start Date 11 Nov 2019 11:00 am
End Date 11 Nov 2019 12:00 pm
Duration 1 hour
Join us at the next MARCS meeting for a presentation by Dr John Cass and an overview of a recent publication by Dr Niels Hansen.

Speaker: Dr John Cass
Title: All is not (necessarily) lost: Visual crowding effects are task-dependent

Abstract: Peripherally presented visual objects are more difficult to identify when presented within close proximity of nearby clutter. This phenomenon, known as visual crowding, is known to depend upon two main factors: (i) proximity (the distance between the object and the clutter); and (ii) the featural similarity shared between the object and its nearby clutter. In general greater similarity (e.g. shared colour or orientation) produces more crowding. In this talk, I’m going investigate whether changing the task - but maintaining the stimulus properties - affects target performance under conditions that are known to produce strong crowding. Results show a double dissociation between target-flanker similarity and task, indicating that crowding occurs prior to the perceptual binding of an object’s constituent features. The results have major implications for models of object recognition more generally as they imply that when a certain feature is unavailable due to crowding, the object may still be identifiable using different sets of features.

Speaker: Dr Niels Hansen
Title: Enjoying sad music: a test of the prolactin theory

Abstract: Philosophers have wrestled with the apparent paradox of the enjoyment of negative emotional portrayals in the arts. An example of this is the enjoyment among some listeners of sad music. 39 participants listened to sad and happy music while serum prolactin (PRL) concentrations were measured. The purpose of the experiment was to test an a priori theory that liking sad music is mediated by elevated PRL levels. Sad music did not result in a significant increase in PRL; nor was the pleasure of listening to sad music associated with increased PRL. Happy music did result in a decrease of PRL, especially for those participants who most prefer happy music over sad music.

We thank you for your continued attendance at the MMM's.  Let's keep the momentum going.

MARCS staff and students are reminded that all meetings and workshops have an important role in building and maintaining the sense of community which is central to the success of MARCS as a cooperative and energetic research institute.  Your attendance is both welcomed and expected.

The zoom ID is: 627 146 998. Link to zoom